Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

The first point I want to make is that Dawkins and brigthest do not understand narrative, do not understand, mythology and do not even know the basic scientific research on antrhopology and social structures and isitutions. This makes them absolutely unsuited for the task they claim  someone should be doing... and they claim to do.

They are well aware that there are anthropological studies of religion. That is not what they are doing. They choose to try to explain why religious beliefs, expecially the mainstream beliefs of many American Christians are false, or, at best, wildly implausible. They are very concerned to lend support to the growing (but still relatively small in the general population) non-believers and closet atheists in America in particular, by showing that it is OK to very publicly criticise religious beliefs.

You say:

the narrative of the angry atheist is.. well.. probably bad for the cause.

In other words, while accusing them of not researching things you do none yourself, we just have what you suppose. We have the evidence of the sales of these books - they have been best-sellers. There is obviously a market for these books, many people want to read them. Also both Hitchens and Dawkins have found that on their book tours, many people thank them for what they are doing. See also the feedback to Dawkins' site


See... a post about Dawkins as a pundit.. where I do not even mention that he does not know a jot about the second law of thermodynamics.. upss sorry sorry.... I quit it here :)

I'm surprised you have the nerve to refer to this. In the comments on my Atheism, the lighter side diary you made the accusation that Dawkins thought the 2nd law was wrong. My reply shows again that you have a nerve to complain that Dawkins doesn't do enough research, while you make accusations based on poor memory/incomprehension, not taking minimal trouble to check first, and shows why I no longer take you seriously:

Kcurie:    I still remember vividly the day I read an article of Dawkins where he worte the second law of thermodynamcis wrong, he explained it even worse (of course it was wrong), relaized that he had never really thought about it in any meanignful way and lost the basic point by making fun of creatonism and the second law when he precisely had not the foggiest idea about the argument at hand....

Utter rubbish. If I were you and I were to think of making such an unlikely accusation, I'd take the little bit of trouble to check first. Just google Dawkins and second law of thermodynamics and one gets as first hit the refutation of your absurd accusation. Do you have a problem reading English ? He says the exact opposite, not that it's "wrong" - but that it's one of the most fundamental things in science:

    Nothing violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The great astrophyisicist Sir Arthur Eddington put it with memorable irony. "If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell's equations - then so much the worse for Maxwell's equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observation - well, these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation." It is not for nothing that C P Snow used familiarity with the Second Law as his litmus test of scientific literacy.


    Once again, it is not my purpose here to argue for the validity of the Second Law. It is undisputed. Nor is it my purpose to defend evolution against the charge of violating it. My purpose is again to convey the sheer magnitude of the error that Burgess and McIntosh are attributing to their hugely more numerous 'establishment' colleagues, who accept evolution and supply cogent arguments against the suggestion that it violates the Second Law.


Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Mon Jan 21st, 2008 at 06:37:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]

I did nto want to answer to yur quesiton bout the second law..My point is that he wrote incorrectly what the second law of thermodyamics stated. Not that he said it is wrong... I was saying taht "Dawkins quoted the second law of thermodynamcis wrong"... he did not realize, work on it as the way to explain it and then obviously explained it wrong. ANd fromt he way he explaiend and how he wrte iabout oen can know without any doubt tahat he doe snot get it... and he certainlyd oe snot ahve to get it.. he is not a physicist..my point is that he has always beleived that he gets it... but he does not.. he has read some infrmative books about it, and understtod the metaphors.. but never the hard work to learn what it means.

So much for the incomprehension..  (ok ok I should  not write that.. that woudl be a personal attack to you and that would be attacking the way your comprehend , and  I think it is very unpolite to accuse any other person of not being able to comprehend before not being completely sure.. whcih here in ET is probalby never).

Regarding Dawkins as a pundit. Different in opinion we have. People who read him are, either people already convinced, or people that he might join for the cause.
Or people like me.. who would like to know what he says since it is a topic I am interested.

The way I know tha he does not know about symbolic anthropology is that he does not take this approach to the topic.

The anrrative he is pushing is clear.. and we basicallya gree with it.. I jsut say that the way to figth back is not that way.. this wrong-headed atheis of the angry mwhite man is a huge msitake ina vacuum .. and it generates much mroe supporters int he side of creatonism and literally interpretations of the Bible.

And while I am quite sure that it is the wrong approach (I think you would get my approach from hare and fromthe comments nanne has pointed to) I ahve the opinion that ina broader context and for an sepcific subgroup of people it could be useful. It a,ll depends on the context... and that's what Dawkins does not get.

And againl please. you seem to take even my opinions against Dawkins personally. Please do not. I am in no way putting in doubt your intelligence, or you know-how, or.. well anything. How could I?


A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 06:02:00 AM EST
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